NARS Duo Eyeshadows Swatches (2018)

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NARS Duo Eyeshadow (2018)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow (2018)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow (2018)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow (2018)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow (2018)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow (2018)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow (2018)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow (2018)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow (2018)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow (2018)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow (2018)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow (2018)

NARS Duo Eyeshadow ($35.00 for 0.08 oz.) has been updated with a new formula and packaging. Each duo contains two pans that can be removed (just pop them out from the bottom), and each pan is the same size as a single eyeshadow. Worth noting, the duos used to be priced at $36 but contained 0.14 oz., so this is significant decrease (without much of a price reduction) — they’re now $437.50/oz. compared to
$257.14/oz. There are 16 different duos available, which I’ve swatched in this post!


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kjh Avatar

Zero new, amiright? I have a few of these from some of the older artist’s palettes, and Thessalonique. Can’t say they look particularly improved. Eyeshadow certainly is not Nars’ strong suit. There has been an explosion of brands since Nars started, and he has been eclipsed.

CeeBee Avatar

Man, what a total let down. I has some issues with the original duos – got Kalahari and Charade a few years ago, used them a couple of times and then put them in a drawer and forgot about them. These don’t look much better.

I’m certainly not seeing anything that wows me, at least.

(and then I think “if Colourpop can do better than this for $5…” why does NARS deserve my money?)

SusanG Avatar

Not very impressive, especially considering the price. I have few NARS products in my stash, and I won’t be tempted by these, either. Thanks for the heads–up, Christine!

SaffyTaffy Avatar

I just want to know what the thinking is behind little duos like this. Is the idea that I’ll do the entire eye look with just the two colors? Okay, I’ll bite. Gonna do a 2-color eye. What kind?
Am I supposed to be doing that 1980s chestnut of the darker color on the lid and the lighter one on the browbone? Does anybody still do that?
How about darker color in the crease, lighter on the lid? That’s okay, except the darker color in some of these is shimmery, and we’re all terrified of shimmer in the crease.
So that leaves darker color on the outer corner, lighter color on the inner corner, nothing on the browbone. For a lot of these, that’s fine. For Pandora, that’s insane.
So what are we doing here?

MJ Avatar

If you have hooded eyes, yeah darker color on the lid and lighter on the browbone makes sense? Anyway, I think these look pretty boring but not every person who buys makeup is an advanced eye makeup user.

Alecto Avatar

We’re giving people options that don’t assume their skin color (i.e. avoiding providing a transition or brow bone color that only works for a certain range of skintones, usually medium-light to light). Surabaya would work for very light to very dark skintones with the addition of someone’s own personal preference in transition or brow bone shade — which it’s a good bet most makeup lovers already have their personal favorites of — but as soon as you add a browbone shade called “linen”, you’ve dramatically decreased the target audience.

These sets also assume we don’t need to be spoon-fed makeup ideas, and that we might be happier adding a twist to our current stash rather than buying a beginner palette with diagrams and everything; pretty refreshing, actually. I’ve been complaining for years that I don’t need browbone or transition shades, as the vast majority of the quads and palettes I’ve purchased that include those … get it wrong! There’s nothing neutral about skintone shades — they either match your skin or they don’t, and they usually don’t. Waste of palette space, IMO.

Grace Avatar

Yesssss this! I actually enjoy being able to add a color or two to my stash without having to purchase a full palette. My most recent eyeshadow purchase was an old Nars single on sale that was an adequate dupe for a color in a palette I wanted. Didn’t need to drop $50 or add an extra 11 shadows to my stash when I just wanted a purple.

Anna Avatar

I totally agree. Nars is not the only brand who makes duos, and I actually find these refreshing color choices from the time before everyonw was scared of shimmer in the crease.

Mimi Avatar

I also am in the camp of liking the concept of duos! I do own quite a few of the NARS ones. The stronger more “statement” or exciting pairs that I am attracted to the colors of I bring in maybe 1 or 2 neutrals I already own to complete, or the more neutral pairings I routinely use just the 2 in the duo for day to day and to go to work. To be honest I do simple looks much more often in daily life and those more neutral duos are just so easy.

On a side note, RIP All About Eve!!! You were like the perfectly tailored white shirt for barely there makeup days. 🙁 Glad I bought a backup!

Ginny Avatar

I have hooded eyes and a low brow so yeah, darker color on the lid blended up to lighter color on the browbone, all shimmer, is my go to look. It works for me. Also Pandora is really versatile. The black makes a great liner and the white is a great highlight. Also the white is sheer enough to blend over the black and make a gray transition. There’s not really one way to use them all. Also I’m guessing these were the best sellers from the previous range.

Mimi Avatar

It’s interesting about Pandora — I’ve never been attracted to buy it for myself, but I was flipping through the makeup books by NARS the other day (those ones he put out a while ago that have the acetate overlay with notes on top of the photos of completed looks) and it surprised me how often he used Pandora. The white softly for highlighting as you said or more solidly as actual white color, and black as liner or deepening color or mixed into the brow etc. It certainly seems an artist kit essential.

Mimi Avatar

I think the value in having a duo is the combination of the two specific colors — each color can stand on their own but the idea of combining them has value. That the artist or the brand has put this together as a pair that they advocate to work together.

I like the new magnetic packaging in general but the problem is more the singles than the duos for me. Makes more sense that I would keep a duo together or that I might carry a duo in my bag (and I can now also pop in whichever 2 shadows I want in the case). But singles I tend to stick into larger magnetic palettes, and those singles will leave a trail of cases. I hope they’ll sell just the pans and cases separately down the line!

CK Avatar

Duos are useful for travel. I can pick one or two and just go, less bulk than carrying some huge palette. You can have a pair of interesting or complementary colors. Duos are also more useful on the go with a larger size mirror.

Nars’ mindset is that people should have fun with the makeup, and some of the color combinations are counterintuitive but really pretty when you get creative (like Nouveau Monde, which I hope he’ll re-release if this new formula is any good).

I’d rather have some duos than pile up a bunch of singles, and if they all get depotted anyway, what difference does it make? I have around a dozen of the Nars duos. I am not a fan of palettes because I have so many duos already. If I was just starting out buying makeup, a large palette would be great. But since I already have a lot of stuff, a palette is overkill.

Mariella Avatar

Cordura looks a lot weaker than the one I have (though it’s a duo I struggle with). The right side of Kalahari looks quite different from the one I have (could be the photo or could be the formula) but the left side looks just as nice, if not even nicer than mine. I’ve always kind of wanted Tzarine but it’s not looking too promising so I’ll wait for your in-depth review; same goes for Silk Road.

Elise Avatar

I have several of the duos and love them! I have to say that swatches are not the best for Nars but the duos have always impressed me. I hope the new formula does not disappoint.

jel888 Avatar

Well I’m very disappointed in the Nars Duo’s and singles. There’s only one that I’d consider purchasing depending on your review Kauai I & II. the Pandora set is pretty good as well, but don’t really need it.

Mariella Avatar

The “original” Kauai (still available in-store in some Sephora stores) is beyond excellent; this new one – I guess we’ll wait and see. In past, they really have had some fabulous duos (Nouveau Monde, Habanera to name just 2); I wonder if they’ve done a “MUFE reformulation” – smaller size and overall price but crummier quality as well.

AB Avatar

Some of these look ok, many do not. At this price point they should nearly excel. Pity. I like the idea of a tailored duo. I’ll wait for reviews — I kind of like Hammamet — but am not holding my breath based on these swatches.

Alecto Avatar

Portobello would be a great tiny little travel palette for me, but for the money these don’t seem all that impressive, so I’m not in danger of succumbing.

I’m oddly attracted to Tzarine, even though it’s not the types of colors I’d usually pick for myself. I wonder if I have an indie shadow close to Tzarine II – I bet I do; I should go play around with my stash to try to figure out what’s calling me so strongly in Tzarine.

CK Avatar

Wow. While I appreciate the reduction in the pan size, I don’t appreciate how the price has basically doubled. I also am skeptical about performance since these swatches don’t look all that impressive. But I’ll wait and see for your full review.

Lulle Avatar

My experience with Nars shadows is that they might swatch poorly but still work very well on the eye, which is what I’m after. The current trend is for brands to release shadow formulas that swatch beautifully, because the pictures will look amazing on social media and drive sales. But some of these very pigmented shadows are a pain to work with or just don’t perform well on the lid. I’d much rather get shadows that look weak on the arm but build and blend easily on the eye! Hopefully that’s what these are.

Alecto Avatar

I’ve often wondered about this. We’ve had a lot of evidence in recent years that arm swatches and eye wear can be night and day. It must be tough for companies — to know that the product will inevitably be swatched with a finger on the arm for Youtube-land and will be judged strongly as a first-impression that way, regardless of wear. Actually, even swatching with a brush on the arm can be misleading. It’s a tough one.

CatherineM Avatar

And here I thought that a reformulation was supposed to improve a product … I own Cordura and Portobello and Protobello actually looks worse in your swatches compared to the original formulation, which I use quite often. The same is true for the singles from your previous post, Christine. The old Coconut Grove performs a lot better for me than what the new swatches look like. I guess I won’t be repurchasing these then when they run out… too bad.

Katherine T. Avatar

Yikes, so disappointing! I don’t think NARS has the best shadow formula to begin with, but these look worse, not improved. The only one that looks decent is Kauai but I have dupes.

Ali Avatar

They look great. A few past Nars duos have had too much fallout or staying power issues, but I don’t own many of these and their duos have worked great for me. Love the color combos. I dont usually use more than 2 shadows on a daily basis, and always hate that I never love all colors in huge palettes, so don’t buy. Love that they can be popped out easily. I bet these would do well in Asia. Can’t wait to see swatches of the singles.

Dominique Avatar

I have Kauai from its original release and I like the formula on it and think it still performs pretty well. The only other Nars duos I have are very old Rated R, Cleo, Mediterranee,and Island Fever I also have a couple singles that I just can’t manage to part with because they were some of the first high end eyeshadows I purchased.

Kelley Avatar

So disappointed they discontinued Madrague and All About EVE. I used them together for my daily eye look. I guess I could switch to Portobello and Alhambra but I don’t like them as much. Hope these come to Sephora soon so I can see them in person

CK Avatar

Tzarine has lost all its glitter and is now a matte, apparently. How boring. Tzarine II is basically Bad Behaviour without any sparkle at all now.

Annie Avatar

I would like to know if the quality of the eyeshadow was updated or changed at all with this packaging renewal. Can anyone please help? 🙂

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